Celebrating East African Writing!
The flags are tattered and stained, brethren
From Cairo to Jo’burg, Tunis to Addis.
Should we take a break from the tweeted riots
To revisit the blurred transition from OAU to AU…
From Gaddafi to the rebels……or is it NATO?
The flags are in tatters, mother
For in SA, they openly discuss the price
of old Madiba’s casket
While the old icon sadly smiles
Weighed down by the impossible food and fuel prices.
And the wind…O what happened to the wind?
The powerful, revolutionary wind of change
That blew across the then green continent
in the rolling 60’s and coup-infested 70s and 80s?
Have we finally replaced the Kalashnikov
The AK 47 with twitter?
The flags are tattered, elders
For today’s youth swim in alien terminologies
coated with violence – pre and post election
tribal and clan-based
Sometimes hanging out or in
Eternally glued to giant screens,
Dying of state-induced idleness and self pity…..
The flags are tattered, children
for anxiously I await my exit – surrounded by sinking nations
Torn apart by negative ethnicity, oil-coated imperialism,
hollow political pledges and dusty manifestos
While slums mushroom in every open space….
Brother – what happened to the land we fought for?
Who stole our land and future
Leaving us cramped Kibera, Soweto, Kawempe and Kechene?
Let’s take time brethren
To slowly mend the flags in between disputed elections
And re-inject authenticity to the national anthems
Lest the continent implodes from internal bleeding
In her mid fifties
© Pascal Masila Mailu 2011